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Home » Books » Health & Wellbeing » Self Help » Personal Growth » Happiness

Happiness Is a Choice You Make

Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old

By John Leland

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Format: Hardback
Based on the popular New York Times series, life-changing wisdom from an unexpected source: America's oldest oldIn 2015, the award-winning New York Times journalist John Leland set out to meet some of the city's oldest inhabitants for a series on America's fastest-growing age group: those over eighty-five. Leland was at a crossroads in his own life. His marriage had fallen apart, and at fifty-five, he was alone for the first time. He was also caring for his elderly mother, whose main desire was to die. He understood aging, like many of us do, as nothing more than the relentless deterioration of body, mind, and quality of life. He wondered: Is there a threshold at which life is no longer worth living?But the six elders Leland interviewed took him in a different direction. Beyond illuminating what it's like to be old, physically and materially, they provided a life-changing education in resilience and joy. They had lived long enough to master the art of living, and they shared their wisdom generously. Leland did not anticipate all that he would learn, nor did he anticipate the popularity of the series: Its following grew to nearly half a million online views for the finale, plus print readers.Happiness Is a Choice You Make, based on the series, is a rare, intimate glimpse into the end of life, and the insight that can enhance the years preceding. What he finds is deeply heartening: Even as our faculties decline, we still wield extraordinary influence over the quality of our lives. Happiness is a choice we make.

About the Author

John Leland is a reporter at The New York Times, where he wrote a yearlong series that became the basis for Happiness Is a Choice You Make, and the author of two previous books, Hip: The History and Why Kerouac Matters: The Lessons of "On the Road" (They're Not What You Think). Before joining the Times, he was a senior editor at Newsweek, editor in chief of Details, a reporter at Newsday, and a writer and editor at Spin magazine.

Reviews

"Engrossing . . . Few books about aging show such clarity and purpose or so deftly blend cleareyed examinations of social issues with a realistic but hopeful cast of mind. In this edifying and often quite moving book, Leland presents the "lessons" taught by his subjects even as they themselves are learning them, and he does so with an empathy and thoroughness that deserve our gratitude." --Kirkus (starred review)"Leland skillfully weaves the wisdom gleaned from their experiences into a fascinating chronicle of the joys and difficulties of living into one's 80s and beyond. . . Leland lends credence to his heartening story of how six seniors have nonetheless made the best of it. He also movingly shows, through his own example, how interacting with those much older than oneself can lead to seeing life in a new light. Leland's unique, highly readable narrative posits that old age should not be viewed as a dreadful time, but rather as a life stage to embrace and celebrate." --Publishers Weekly"John Leland's practical, powerful insights into the rich experiences of the 'oldest old' can guide all of us to lead happier lives--no matter what our age." --Gretchen Rubin, author of the New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project"Remarkable revelations gleaned from those who, in their superannuated years, have discovered rewarding benefits from the life that actually surrounds them." --A. E. Hotchner, author of Hemingway in Love"In her oft-quoted poem 'The Summer Day, ' Mary Oliver asks, 'Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?' In his new book, John Leland offers up one surprising, funny, smart, inspiring answer after another. This book is heart medicine for uncertain times, and assurance that the only resolution that matters is the will to keep going." --Veronica Chambers, author of The Go-Between and coauthor of 32 Yolks "John Leland's practical, powerful insights into the rich experiences of the 'oldest old' can guide all of us to lead happier lives--no matter what our age." --Gretchen Rubin, author of the New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project"In her oft-quoted poem "The Summer Day," Mary Oliver asks, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?" In his new book, John Leland offers up one surprising, funny, smart, inspiring answer after another. This book is heart medicine for uncertain times, and assurance that the only resolution that matters is the will to keep going." --Veronica Chambers, author of The Go-Between and coauthor of 32 Yolks "John Leland's practical, powerful insights into the rich experiences of the 'oldest old' can guide all of us to lead happier lives--no matter what our age." --Gretchen Rubin, author of the New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project

EAN: 9780374168186
ISBN: 0374168180
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Age Range: 15+ years
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